Re-post: “Consider it pure joy…” From Deep Thoughts with Jen

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”

  • God never asks anything from us that He didn’t or wouldn’t already give. That is not is God’s character. Our perfect Creator has sacrificed all and therefore it is our purpose in life to do the same. Romans 12:1 tells us to “offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” God wants our everything! Every day He wants us to ask, “What do you want today, Father?! What do I need to give you? What would you have me offer today?” Sometimes He’ll respond with, “Nothing! You’re putting me first above all! Well done, good and faithful servant!” Sometimes He’ll respond with a big, fat, giant list. Oh boy, those are fun days! Sometimes, He’ll ask for the one thing that you never thought He’d ask for. You even question Him, as if to say, “Are you sure?” When He asks for these things you wonder, “Why, I don’t understand?! I know that you gave me this as a blessing and now you want it back!” Those mornings you cry out in confusion and in part, even defiance because you know that either He has been asking for a while and you haven’t responded or that you already know that you have to give it up, but that this marks the beginning of the battle.
  • I am sure that Abraham felt the same way when he was asked to sacrifice his very own precious son, even though God also promised him that Abraham would see his offspring through that precious son. We don’t have any idea of the dialogue that went in inside his head after God asked for such a massive sacrifice. However, the word gives many indications that not only did Abraham put his trust in God but he trusted that God would provide a way out as well. In Genesis 22:5 – 8, we can see that Abraham told his servants to stay put while Abraham and Isaac went on and that both he and Isaac would be back. It goes on to say in verse 8 that when Isaac questioned about the offering, Abraham told Isaac that “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering.” In Hebrews 11:19, Paul writes that Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead. So, not only can we see that Abraham was a man of faith and trust, but that he was a man of great hope in the Lord and His promises. Abraham didn’t just believe in God – he believed God.
  • God is graciously teaching me the value of faith and that faith can only be purified by the testing of it. I am drawing strength from the bible in scriptures like 1Pet. 1:6-7, “. . . though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” and Psalm 66:10 “For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.” What an incredible time in my life for the Lord to know my heart and know that I am ready for such trials! What faith in me the Lord must have to consider that I am ready for such a fiery test! I am banking on the promise of 1Cor.10:13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
  • Father, I long for the faith, trust, and hope that Abraham had in you! I long to look to you and you alone in this trial. I believe in what your Word tells me and I know that you are doing a great and mighty work in me and that you promise rich blessings on the other side. Add to my faith, increase it in measure and then add to it goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love, Father! I am taking hold of so many promises that your Word teaches me. Renew yourself to me each day as I keep my eyes fixed on you while I run this race! Be with my family and bless them with everything that they need to give you glory and honor. Clothe them each with your righteousness and encourage them with your unending love. We need you Father! All in your Holy and Sweet name we pray.

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